I recently met a Buddhist Lama, a woman called Kenden Bhutia, originally from Tibet but now settled in Sweden.
We had an invigorating chat over coffee at the Turtle Café in GK-1. She said a few things that had a great impact on me, so I shall put them down for future reference.
On one’s purpose in life: The primary purpose of this life is to achieve enlightenment. The second is to help our loved ones achieve enlightenment. The third is to contribute to humanity’s evolution. All else is irrelevant.
On reincarnation: Once this life is over, all the drama and destruction we create in our wake follows us in the next life, as karma and its consequences. If we do good causes, those count as merits, and we start off at a higher spiritual level in the next life. If we wilfully continue to live in ignorance, we stay mired in the web of illusion forever.
On material success: Running after material growth and riches is meaningless in the context of reincarnation. For example, if there was no gravity, what would happen to real estate? What is my home and your home and what are walls if we are all just floating in space? What would happen to inflated rents, and family feuds on property divisions? They mean nothing if the earth suddenly stopped holding on to us one day. Running after material wealth is as meaningless as that.
On eco-awareness: While humanity is looting and raping the planet in its own selfish interests, it does not realize it is this very earth we are going to return to later. Forget saving the planet for future generations – we need to save it for our own future selves.
On harmonious relationships: It’s never about the other person, it’s always about us. Ask them, ‘How are you?’ at the end of a long working day, from your heart. And see the response. We are so caught up in gratifying our own selves, we don’t realize the other person has their needs and desires too. The minute we start focusing on them, instead of us, the relationship will move towards harmony.
On financial insecurity: Ask yourself, what is my true worth? And put it at a million dollars. After that, no matter how much money you have in the bank, you will always be worth a million dollars to yourself and that's all that counts in the end.
On me: At the end our meeting, when we talked mostly about her life and philosophy, Kenden looked at me and said, smiling, "You need to get a massage, my dear. You've sacrificed for others all your life, it is now time to love yourself. You are too much in 'control', always in control, holding so much inside. Learn to let go."
Food for thought. :)